June 2, 2007

“…this gnomon-like fin stands up and casts shadows upon the wrinkled surface…”
Herman Melville, Moby Dick

The lake is still mostly covered in ice; the grayling are still mostly spawning, but they’re getting hungry. I cast my red and black magic fly onto the ice shelf, and let it fall into the water….

A more beautiful fish does not exist than a male grayling in spawning display. Men have spent lifetimes searching for what I found under the ice this morning.

His body is bronze and silver, sapphire and ruby. His tail is a fork in the road to the end of the Earth.

His dorsal is the missing page from a sacred book.



  1. Here in Spain, we call it tímalo (but there is none in the whole Spain). In France they call him l’ombre.
    They have a strong dorsal fin, I expect to be able to fish someone in the future.


  2. Gorgeous! You are truly the mad fishicist.

  3. Though the art world has asked us to believe that God’s angels wear the feathered wings of doves or cockatoos, I’ve always imagined them as wholly different creatures. Surely a creature that soars through the cosmos at time-breaking speeds, battles demons, and stands in the presence of the Beginning and End must be endowed with wings similar to the grayling’s dorsal fin.

  4. Amazing!!

  5. Really beautiful–awe-inspiring, really. Loved your comments too Chinco.

  6. Hey, look this dorsal, is spectacular. Beautiful picture.
    I´d like fish grayling, but in Spain…

  7. Varo, come to Finland to catch a grayling. But none of them are as beautiful as the one TMF caught. He’s amazing!

  8. Gorgeous. Some people say that art must be purposefully created to truly be art. That statement and these photos raise a couple important questions.

  9. I submit that the grayling was created; the accident was me finding it.

  10. I can’t get over how beautiful those pictures are! Whoever took them must be a great photographer… 🙂

  11. The dorsal seems jungle cock neck´s feathers.

  12. Casting dries to big grayling is one of life’s supreme pleasures. What an amazing (and cooperative!) fish they are. Beautiful pics.

  13. Man …Grayling….
    I would love to catch one of those. What a beautiful fish!
    I am currently occupyingmy time catching the most hideous of fishes…the Walleye…
    ….using methods only a slight step ahead of spearing…
    ‘The Horror….The Horror’
    Gene Gene the White trash machine

  14. […] I noticed this blog entry by the Mad Fishicist, and was amazed at the beauty of the grayling.   […]

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